Fine Arts

Social Studies (X) - Fine Arts (X)

Are Hologram Tupac and Hologram Freddie Mercury Nostalgia or New Aesthetic? | PBS Idea Channel

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Everyone has heard about the Tupac Hologram that played at Coachella earlier this year. But with Queen's recent announcement of a Hologram Freddie Mercury and TLC's plans for a Hologram Lisa Left Eye Lopes, it looks Hologram pop stars are here to stay - what does this mean for art and technology? At first glance, it might seem like this is just more of the same old nostalgia, but we think these Holo-Popstars represent something much bigger and entirely new. They are the heralds of New Aesthetic, a hotly debated new art movement dedicated to the blending of art and technology. 

Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? | PBS Idea Channel

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We've all seen and shared a few LOLCats and Internet Memes in our time, but is it possible that these images and videos are actually a new form of art? It may seem strange, but Rage Guys, Advice Dogs, Trollfaces, and Philosoraptors are ways for people around the globe to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with others - and isn't that the core principle of art? We think some of history's greatest philosophers and artists might be inclined to agree.

Are Videogames About Their Mechanics? | PBS Idea Channel

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As we play video games over and over again, we spend a lot of time getting pretty good at the mechanics and gameplay - but at what expense? Each shot fired and potion consumed engrosses us more and more, but does that engrossing nature work against the story, the narrative, and maybe the bigger picture of what the game is (supposedly) about? Do we care more about what we do, instead of what happens? And should the interaction be more important than the message? Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

Is Instagram the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Photography? | PBS Idea Channel

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With its ability to make boring cellphone photos look "vintage" and "artsy", Instagram has exploded worldwide. Derided by its detractors as a tool for making bad photos worse, we take an alternate view and argue that Instagram is the greatest thing ever to happen to photography. Its simple filters and social networking features are training cellphone photographers everywhere to think creatively about their photos. Plus, the app is turning its worldwide user base into an army of photojournalists capturing striking images of the people and events around them. As the old photography adage goes, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

Is Nostalgia the Reason for Adventure Time's Amazing Awesomeness? | PBS Idea Channel

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Adventure Time is an animated kids show on the Cartoon Network that is very popular - not only with kids, but also with full grown adults! Why would serious adults, including Mike's Mom, watch Adventure Time? We think it's because the show taps into our memories of childhood with nostalgia. However, this isn't the "I Love the 90's" kind of nostalgia that we normally talk about! We're talking about Romantic Nostalgia, which is a confusing emotion that mixes happy and sad, creating a powerful mix that hits you right in your gut. It adds emotional depth to an already great kids show.

Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones? | PBS Idea Channel

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If you're like us, you love watching Game of Thrones, but you may not have cable. In this case, how are we watching this amazing show on HBO, which is stuck behind a pay wall? A huge number of viewers are downloading the show illegally. But, despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records! Could it be that piracy is actually helping the show? 

Why Were People & Critics So Infatuated With Frozen? | PBS Idea Channel

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There isn't much to say about Frozen that hasn't already been said, so we're going to talk about the fact that so much has been said about Frozen. People love analyzing and critiquing this movie. It has inspired dozens of think-pieces, covering everything from its portrayal of gender roles, to cultural appropriation, to the definition of true love. Frozen, and its complexity, has touched something in viewers. Could it be its morphing of traditional fairy tale tropes?

The Birth of a Nation: A Complicated Legacy | Birth of a Movement

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In this video from INDEPENDENT LENS: "Birth of a Movement" students learn about the complex legacy of the controversial film The Birth of a Nation, as both a catalyst for African American activism and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Stargate Theatre | "Dear Justice System"

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Explore the impact of participation in the justice system on court-involved youth in this video from Stargate Theater: A Defining Act. The documentary follows the story of a group of boys who produce a play based on their experience growing up in neighborhoods with high incarceration rates. Support materials ask students to research the justice system, analyze statistics, and write a creative response similar to the youth in the film by writing a letter to the justice system.

Stargate Theatre: A Defining Act is a documentary film that shares the story of the Stargate Theatre Company, a groundbreaking program that immerses court-involved youth in the theater arts as a mechanism for coping with and overcoming negative factors in their lives. Founded by the prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club, Stargate provides its members with transitional employment, work-readiness training, and literacy education in a creative theatrical environment. Told through the voices of the Stargate company members, along with the teaching artists and professionals who lead them, Stargate Theatre: A Defining Act follows these young men from auditions to the final performance of their original play, “Deeper than Skin.”

The Jazz Ambassadors | Louis Armstrong and the Civil Rights Movement

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Learn about the role of Louis Armstrong in the national debate surrounding the story of the Little Rock Nine, a critical moment in the Civil Rights Movement, in this video from The Jazz Ambassadors. The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine black students who enrolled at a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas in September 1957. Armstrong, a beloved American jazz musician, famously criticized the government for their lack of action in response to the horrendous treatment of the nine students by those protesting school integration. The support materials for this resource include discussion questions, an informational text, and teaching tips to further engage students.

I, Too, Am an Appalachian

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Learn more about the meaning behind the terms "African-Appalachian" and "Black Appalachian."

'Theater of War' Brings Hope to Wounded Soldiers

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A new concept that uses acting and the theater to help unlock the inner grief and suffering that many soldiers bring back from war zones is catching on.

Pete Seeger Blacklisting

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During the late 1940's and early 1950's, Joseph McCarthy led a series of investigations that targeted Hollywood actors and directors. However, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) also targeted musicians, including Pete Seeger, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, and Artie Shaw. In the supporting lesson plan, students will recreate an interview before the HUAC with a musician.

Hello Kitty, Minimalist Icon? | PBS Idea Channel

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With her cute pink bow and huge noggin, Hello Kitty is one of the most recognizable characters in the world. She sells billions of dollars worth of merchandise, but what is it about this simple cartoon cat that makes her such a beloved piece of pop culture? Ahead of her time when first created in 1974, we think that Hello Kitty used minimalism's bag of tricks to become the world's best salesgirl.

Overview & Images of Masculinity - Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes

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Although Byron Hurt takes a strong stance against the violence, misogyny and homophobia in hip hop, his film Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes presents many voices who speak for themselves on the subject.

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